Review of Healthy Whole Wheat and Oats Pumpkin Pancakes

Photo By Jami Heap: Healthy Whole Wheat and Oats Pumpkin Pancakes are just what the doctor ordered this Fall.

By Jami Heap

In case you couldn’t tell from our 80-degree temperatures, Fall is upon us.

Some things I love about this time of year are pulling out my sweaters and boots, beginning the Christmas countdown, enjoying that sliver of time when I don’t have to run the air conditioner or the heater and, of course, all things pumpkin!  My November recipe review had to be a pumpkin recipe.

Photo By Jami Heap: Simple ingredients make this breakfast one you can enjoy over and over.

You may be wondering why the recipes I choose tend to lean toward the healthy side. In 2012, I completed my Bachelors of Science in Nutrition at Arizona State University. Since then, I have worked educating families about healthy eating as well as planning balanced menus for seniors. I am currently a dietetic intern with the goal of becoming a registered dietitian, so my passion lies in promoting nutritious foods.

Photo by Jami Heap: These pancakes are perfect for a cool, autumn morning.

Now, on to Healthy Whole Wheat and Oats Pumpkin Pancakes. This recipe was simple to make by mixing dry ingredients with wet. If you don’t want to use store-bought buttermilk, you can add one tablespoon of white vinegar for every cup of milk (1½ tablespoons of vinegar and 1½ cups of milk in this recipe).  I also made my own pumpkin pie spice with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. I am drawn to recipes that use common ingredients. If my family enjoys it and it’s one we want to make again, I like already having the ingredients in my pantry rather than needing to run to the store.

The flavor of these pancakes was amazing, considering they use just a small amount of added sugar and no fat. The pumpkin spice almost completely masks the whole wheat taste. They were extremely moist and soft. Although my sweet tooth usually craves syrup, a pat of butter and a few chopped pecans were all these pancakes needed on top.

My one complaint is with the texture. With the moisture from the applesauce and pumpkin, the middle of each pancake was a bit doughy. I tried adjusting the temperature and time on the griddle, and even some of the pancakes that were overcooked on the outside remained too wet in the center. Online research suggests thinning the batter slightly to allow the pancakes to cook through faster.

Overall, I think this recipe is a win. It provided a healthy breakfast that filled the kitchen with wonderful autumn aromas. I hope you enjoy making it too.


Photo By Jami Heap: Mix the wet ingredients before adding the dry.


3 eggs

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup applesauce

1/2 cup canned pumpkin

1 1/2 cup buttermilk

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup rolled oats

2 tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp pumpkin spice


In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, applesauce, buttermilk, and pumpkin until smooth. Add in vanilla, baking powder, salt, pumpkin spice, rolled oats and flour and whisk well. Pour about half a ladle onto a medium hot griddle and cook for 3 minutes, until the edges start to firm up. Flip the pancakes and finish cooking for 1-2 minutes on the other side. Serve hot with maple syrup, butter, and pecans. To freeze pancakes, place a sheet of wax paper between each pancake and stack together.  Wrap the stack tightly with aluminum foil and place it inside a freezer bag.  Freeze for up to 1 to 2 months.  To reheat the frozen pancakes, place them on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave uncovered for about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, or until heated through.